British Columbia Ski Resorts

British Columbia ski resorts offer some of the best skiing and snowboarding that you will find anywhere on the planet. This is partly evidenced by the fact that the region's most renowned resort, Whistler-Blackcomb, hosted a variety of events for the 2010 Winter Olympics. In addition to some of the highest vertical drops in all of North America, the top British Columbia ski areas offer plenty of powder on an average annual basis. You can also hope to make some fresh tracks while accessing out of bounds regions by way of snowcat or helicopter. Some of the British Columbia ski resorts offer snowcat and helicopter adventures that take visitors to remote spots that they wouldn't otherwise be able to access.

Between the ski runs that can be found at the region's many fine resorts and those that can be accessed by way of snowcat or helicopter, anyone who is planning on snowboarding or skiing in BC is bound to find the right fit for their tastes and preferences. All the top British Columbia Ski Resorts, such as Whistler-Blackcomb and Panorama Mountain, feature an ample amount of beginner's terrain to go with their intermediate and advanced terrain, and you can book a lesson if you are just starting out or you simply want to improve the skills that you already have. Qualified instructors are on hand at the British Columbia ski areas, and you might be interested to know that many of the resorts also provide guides who give free mountain tours. At the Kicking Horse Resort, for example, visitors can enjoy free mountain orientation tours that are organized by level of ability. This can be a great way to get to know the mountain.

Most of the British Columbia ski areas are spread throughout the province's southern region, and they include many a gem. In the southeastern part of the province, the Mount Washington Ski Resort provides a good place to make some turns on Vancouver Island, while those who are visiting the city of Vancouver won't have to go far to access the relatively small, yet fun Mount Seymour Ski Resort. Also within relatively easy reach of Vancouver are the Hemlock Valley Ski Resort and famed Whistler-Blackcomb. No other ski resort in North America is larger than Whistler-Blackcomb, and you might be interested to know that this complete resort also features the second highest vertical drop on the continent. Only Revelstoke can boast a higher vertical drop.

The Revelstoke Mountain Resort is one of the numerous world-class ski resorts that can be found in the British Columbia Interior. Part of this resort's allure lies in its lofty 5,620-foot vertical drop. It is also known for its excellent cat, heli, and backcountry adventures. Back towards the relatively large interior city of Kamloops, other top rated British Columbia ski resorts that deserve a look include the Silver Star Mountain Resort and the Sun Peaks Ski Resort. These aren't the only places worth keeping in mind when planning a visit to the British Columbia Interior, however. Other larger resorts that can be found farther inland include the Red Mountain Ski Resort, the Big White Ski Resort, and the Fernie Ski Resort.

At larger British Columbia ski areas like these, visitors will find everything that they need in order to enjoy a rewarding vacation. Slopeside lodging comes in the forms of townhomes, condos, and hotel rooms, and more often than not, at least one day spa and a few shops can be found in the village area. Bars and restaurants also figure among the common amenities at the British Columbia ski resorts, so getting something good to eat and enjoying some apres-ski action can also be part of the plan. Add in the abundant snow that the region gets and the divine mountain views that it has to offer, and it's little wonder why so many travelers look to do some snowboarding or skiing in BC once winter rolls around.

Most of the slopes at the British Columbia ski areas are open from early December to mid-April, and if you can't manage to arrange a winter visit, summer is also a great time of year. It isn't all about the snowboarding and skiing in BC. Warm weather activities that can be enjoyed at the various mountain resorts across the province include hiking, mountain biking, and golfing. Most of the British Columbia Ski Resorts offer special stay-and-play packages for both seasons, and regardless of when you plan on dropping by, getting to the resort of your choice is made easy by the fact that the southern region features a few international airports.

Image: Henry Georgi

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